Sunday, February 10, 2013

Weekend Round Up - Audi Motorsport Blog (9-10/02/2013)

By Johan Laubscher

1. The Weekend

Focussing this week on the weekend of 9 - 10 February 2013

2. The Events

  •           Bathurst 12 Hour
  •           Australian GT
  •           Superstars Testing
  •           Kyalami Festival

2.1. Bathurst 12 Hour

The Bathurst 12 Hour took place this weekend. It was the third 12 Hour event held at Bathurst since FIA GT3 specification race cars have been allowed to enter. Audi R8 LMS cars have been victorious on both previous occasions, each time with factory support. This year no less than seven Audis were entered by seven private teams. Five Audi R8 LMS ultra cars were joined by two older R8 LMS cars. The weekend got off to a good start as Audis topped two out of the three free practice sessions on Friday. Qualifying saw a very fast pace and getting a clear lap on the crowded track was key. In the end the top placed Audi was the #9 Mark Eddy/Marc Ciny entry with Christopher Mies setting the time. Two Audis were in the top ten, followed by all seven placing in the top sixteen. The race got underway with a hectically fast pace and a number of accidents. The Audi squad were holding their positions near the front until various setbacks dropped the cars down the field. As the race went into the late afternoon the highest placed Audi was the Phoenix Racing entry running in fifth. The race finished under wet conditions with the #1 Phoenix entry in fourth ahead of the recovering #9 Mark Eddy/Marc Cini car in fifth. Four Audis finished within the top ten. 

2.2. Australian GT

The opening round of the Australian GT Championship coincided with the Bathurst 12 Hour. The teams had the opportunity to enter both events or only a single event if they so chose. The Australian GT component of the event was held during the first fifty minutes of the Bathurst 12 Hour, after which the cars entered in the 12 Hour would continue racing and the Australian GT only entries would pull off. Three of the Australian based Audi teams were entered for the Australian GT portion of the event, and all three were entered in the full 12 Hour as well. The three teams included the cars from Rod Salmon, Mark Eddy/Marc Cini and Minda Motorsport. At the end of the fifty minutes the top placed Audi was the Minda Motorsport entry in fourth followed by the #6 Rod Salmon entry in sixth.
2.3. Superstars Testing

The Superstars Series held a combined test session at Adria on Friday. Two of the ex-Audi Sport Italia Audi RS4 cars were entered by the PRS NOS Racing team. Alessandro Kouzkin, Gianluca De Matteo and Silvano Bolzoni drove the team's two cars on the day. 

2.4. Kyalami Festival

The Passion for Speed, an annual historic race car festival, was held at Zwartkops in South Africa last weekend. The event moved onto its conclusion at round two this weekend, hosted at Kyalami. One modern category took part on the day, the Extreme Super Cars. Jonathan Du Toit competed in the category driving the ex-Michael Stephen Class A Audi A4 from Terry Moss Racing. He qualified first in class and went on to win his class by finishing eighth overall in both races

2.5. Other Audi News

PK Carsport is returning to Belgian racing and they will be using an Audi R8 LMS ultra (ultra depicted in their press release photos). In what is being described as the return of the dream team, the three drivers will be Anthony Kumpen, Bert Longin and Maarten Makelberge. The team will be contesting in the BRCC this year, but as of yet they have not committed to the Zolder 24 Hours.

Audi Sport was represented in Moscow this week. An Audi A5 DTM along with Mattias Ekstr├Âm and Edoardo Mortara attended a promotional event in the Red Square ahead of the DTM debut in Russia later this year.

PRS NOS Racing will be fielding three of the older ex-Audi Sport Italia Audi RS4 race cars in the Superstars series this year. This will be the first appearance of the older cars since the opening round of 2012 when the MTM team used a silver RS4 whilst their RS5 was still under construction. 

VMP Motorsport held their first shakedown at Zwartkops this week ahead of the South African Bridgestone Production Car Championship. At the test the new livery for Gennaro Bonafede was shown for the first time, revealing a continuation with the Ferodo sponsorship.

The European Le Mans Series (ELMS) entry list was revealed on Friday. The GTC category  for FIA GT3 cars has been allowed in the series for 2013, in an effort to boost the grid numbers. Five GT3 cars are on the list, including one Audi R8 LMS ultra from the new MOMO-Megatron-dF1 team. The team is the Pamela Anderson co-owned operation which use to be called Downforce1.

Downforce1 website

3. Next Weekend’s events (16-17/02/2013)

  •           HSR

All photos are hosted at their respective website which are listed within the Weekend Round Up